Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Here we are. I have heard from both my sister and her husband this morning – they are in place, in NYC. Although no blizzard was involved, Helen says that the train down yesterday was slow. That's more than the nerves could have endured, this morning – their first plan had been a 5am departure today. Roger says they had a very nice Indian meal last night and he hopes we can do this again soon.

Our friend S. – originally, Greek Helen's friend from her Cairo days, now a good friend to us all – came to the door yesterday with more quails' eggs and Weston's Vintage, richly undeserved on my part. By way of thanks, I told her what's happening in NYC today – I hope she passed it on to you, G. We'll all know, tomorrow.

29 scallops are done of the 50 needed for the final side of the Unst Bridal Shawl edging – so the halfway point is well passed, and the next percentage point mine for the taking. The new needles turned up yesterday – Meadow Yarn is not to be faulted for service.


I am grateful for all your help on this subject. I am seriously sorry not to have the oomph at the moment to write to each individually.

What the nurse meant, even though she was clearly wide of the mark by mentioning Disability Living Allowance, was that once you had something from the gov't, the Edinburgh City Fathers would wave your application for a Blue Badge for the car straight through. We applied for one two years ago and were turned down – but my husband's capabilities have declined a good deal since then, and I must try again. At some point I looked up Carer's Allowance (or whatever it's called) and we didn't qualify – my husband can still take care of himself, except for occasional help with socks. As long as meals and computer-assistance are provided, but there are no boxes to tick for that.

I agree that it is necessary to answer their questions by saying what is possible on one's worst day, not one's best. We have a kindly neighbour (with Strathardle connections – it may or may not be a small world, but Scotland is certainly a small country) – who is eager to help us fill in the form. Perhaps the best thing would be to invite her around for tea and form-filling, as soon as one or two more immediate hurdles have been cleared.

The first of which, is actually to pay the income tax. I hoped they might at least have sent me an e-invoice. The day I filed our return, payment sounded so complicated that I just logged out and went away. They don't seem to take PayPal. However, I have heard nothing from them (except an acknowledgement of the return) so I must go back in this morning and face up to it. Penalties for non-payment start Feb. 1.

We won't have news from NYC until the end of the British afternoon. Something to do with the rotation of the earth.

There is not much knitting in this bulletin. I am inspired to go back to some of my recent lace-knitting book purchases.


  1. I'm not sure of the position in Scotland but in England you, as your husband's carer, don't qualify for Carers Allowance once you are in receipt of a State Pension. However, Attendance Allowance is for your husband and based on his needs. If he needs you to make his meals, help with bathing, computing, putting on his socks, transport to medical appointments, transport to wherever else he needs to go etc. etc. these are all things which are (should) be taken into account when someone is being considered for this benefit. " A well managed need is still a need" is a quote from the guidelines for awarding Continuous Healthcare funding but it is equally applicable here. Go through a few days in your mind and list all of the things you do for him.

    I've had plenty of experience of dealing with government and NHS stonewalling!

  2. Anonymous11:24 AM

    About the Blue Badge: the suggestion to contact Age UK is a very good one. They have advisers who are experienced in dealing with officialdom and can help you complete the forms - and get the right ones for you! You can arrange to visit the office or they can come to your home if you prefer.

  3. GrannyPurple12:29 PM

    I'll comment for all of us out here who are on tenterhooks about the NYC happening. Can't wait for tomorrow's news!

  4. Darn it! I should have realized that it Wednesday morning here and not going to be the same as your Wednesday morning. (Genius, aren't I?) Don't you wish more online payment places took paypal? I wonder if it is more expensive for them than using credit cards.

  5. Anonymous8:37 AM

    I have a hunch that the news from NYC has something to do with Theo being appointed to some position.

    Mary G. In Texas